"COVID-19: INTER-STATE MIGRATION- PROBLEMS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS IN INDIA"

Authors

Arabinda Medhi, MSSV, Nagaon, Assam, India.

Ritusmita Gautam, Gauhati University.

Saratkumar Nath (Assistant Professor), Charaibahi College, Morigaon, Assam, India.

Abstract

Human history is observing a very strange time, fighting an invisible enemy, the novel COVID- 19. It is now a global crisis of great magnitude and may be compared to the great depression of 1929. The similarity is obvious since the main problem seems to be the loss of jobs and income, causing a huge drop in aggregate demand for all the major economies. Lockdowns, travel bans, and social distancing measures in response to the crisis have affected internal migrant workers, who found themselves stranded, unable to return to their native places. Generally it has affected the most marginalized sections of the society, who depend on daily wages for their living. This pandemic situation has led to a reverse migration as industries were shut and paying house rent or taking care of basic needs become a challenge, apart from health concerns. Many people tried to walk thousands of miles back to home because of the strict lockdown in India. Governments of different states have arranged for safe return of these migrant workers through the appropriate mode of transport services. After reaching their native places, they faced with the situation of spending a few days in temporary shelters/relief camps, which may be quarantine centers. According to CMIE estimates, unemployment has reached 24.2% with urban unemployment being 26%. There is some problem associated with this inter-state migration on the economy. Government has taken some policy measures to overcome the problem arises due to this inter -state migration. The present study makes an attempt to assess some of the economic problems that occurs due to this inter- state migration and also try to analyze the policy taken by government.